I have no clue what is going to happen on WWE NXT 01/22/14. We’re still in the era of the yellow brand where weeks can go by with no promotion of any upcoming segments. Last week, we learned that NXT is going to have a live special on the WWE Network soon. Logic would dictate that we’ll get some sort of idea of some matches that may happen on that special. But, then again, the way things are going I imagine we’ll see Rusev face Xavier Woods again and the Network Special will never be mentioned this weeks. Let’s find out what happened on NXT five years ago.
WWE NXT 01/22/14 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail.
Tom welcomes us to the show and we see he’s joined by heel Saxton and Tensai. The announce team discusses the fact that Bo Dallas has now been champion for 224 days. Tom sends us to the new ring announcer… Eden… aka Brandi (don’t call her Rhodes) the Chief Brand Officer of All Elite Wrestling. Crazy how much can happen in 5 years.
Adrian Neville’s music hits and he’s out. Already in the ring? Wesley Blake of “Blake & Murphy / “Forgotten Sons” fame. He’s dressed like a generic cowboy wrestler from 1986.
Match #1: Adrian Neville vs. Wesley Blake
Neville squash. Until a kick and punch flurry at the end of the match, I thought Blake was going to get in zero offense in his debut! As with most Neville squashes, it’s an excuse to get him on TV and have him hit the Red Arrow.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Wow, what a reminder how long Blake has been at NXT.
Meanwhile, Devin Taylor is backstage with the BFFs. It’s mentioned that Charlotte hasn’t been seen since she attacked Bayley. Charlotte says she’s been riding in limousines and jets – you know, Flair stuff. Charlotte cuts a promo saying life isn’t headbands and hugs – it’s vicious and will knock you down. Summer adds that 2014 will be the year of the BFFs and that starts tonight when they put Natalya on notice.
Back in the ring, Xavier Woods is out (w/ footage of him facing Rusev two weeks ago). And, wouldn’t you know it? Lana is out to “speak in a foreign language”, get “What?”ed by Full Sail, and introduce Rusev. He’s out and they head to the ring. Really? Wow, they’re going to do this?
Match #2: Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev (w/ Lana)
Woods hits a shining wizard for 2, but this is otherwise a Rusev squash. After hitting a strong kick, Rusev slaps on the Accolade, and Woods taps immediately.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – I can’t believe they did this match again.
Post-match, we do the thing where Rusev won’t break the Accolade until Lana says to. She does, but then has him slap it back on. Some music hits and for a moment I literally thought that Kofi was going to come out to make the save and set up a handicap match on next week’s show. But, instead Sin Cara is out to give Rusev a hurricanrana and make the save.
Later tonight? A Bo Dallas “Banner Raising Ceremony”.
Up next? CJ Parker vs. Antonio Cesaro.
After no break, CJ Parker is out. Jack Swagger’s music hits next and Cesaro is out. Tensai asks Saxton what he thinks of Cesaro and Saxton tries to play it off. I’m glad someone finally called out the random Saxton heel turn.
Match #3: CJ Parker vs. Antonio Cesaro
Not bad. I wish Parker would have gotten in more offense – specifically without the trappings of this goofy character. The finish builds to Parker doing an airplane spin to Cesaro, but making himself dizzy in the process. Cesaro seizes this opportunity and hits him with the Swing. Parker eats a Neutralizer and takes the loss.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I’m going to enjoy Cesaro while he lasts at NXT. I have a feeling his days are numbered. Like I said last week, it’s a bummer Parker’s character and booking at NXT was so weird.
Post-match, Sami Zayn’s music hits and he’s out limping and with a crutch. Sami cuts a promo talking about 2013 and how great his “2 out of 3” falls match with Cesaro was. This is a roundabout way for him to ask Cesaro for a rematch. Cesaro leaves the ring, grabs Sami’s mic, and simply says “no”. Mic drop.
Still to come? Bo gets a banner.
Back from break? Devin is backstage with the Miz. The Miz says Full Sail is “awesome” and mentions doing a Miz TV segment tonight when CJ Parker wanders into the shot. He can’t handle people booing him and Miz says he can see why they do. They begin to argue and we learn that Miz apparently has a “large carbon footprint”. Parker slaps the Miz and leaves.
Back in the arena, Renee Young has joined the booth.
Natalya’s music hits and she’s out with Bayley and a backstage promo she cut earlier on Summer Rae. Summer’s music hits and she’s out with Sasha Banks.
Match #4: Natalya (w/ Bayley) vs. Summer Rae (w/ Sasha Banks)
Much like when Bayley faced Summer… I’m not sure why we have a 2nd out here for the babyface team. We’ve not really seen any backstage bits explaining why Nattie and Bayley are a deal – beyond that one over a month ago where Nattie looked annoyed at Bayley hugging her. The match ends with Summer tapping to the Sharpshooter and neither Bayley or Sasha factoring into the decision. I’m not sure where we’re going with this, but these matches are short and a tag match seems like a weird way to blow off this feud.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’m hoping this goes somewhere soon but knowing how WWE tends to focus on only one women’s story at a time and Paige / Emma are likely to ramp up hostilities soon for the Network Special I’m not optimistic.
Next, Devin is backstage with Enzo and Cass. Enzo gives a long, meandering non-answer to his injury status and Cass gives a shorter non-answer to Enzo’s injury status. Aiden English enters and starts arguing with Cass about English’s cheap shots during the singing contest they had. English starts warming up to sing and Enzo & Cass leave – Enzo running over English’s foot with his wheelchair in the process.
Up next? We celebrate Bo Dallas.
Back from break, Bo’s music is playing and he heads to the ring in street clothes. He cuts a promo putting over his fans, his third cousin, his sister’s college roommate, and his fourth grade history teacher for their support. We’re honoring Bo because he’s the longest reigning NXT champion now at 224 days. He gets a (digital) banner raised in the corner of Full Sail while his music plays.
The ceremony is interrupted by Neville’s music and he’s out. Neville cuts a promo telling Bo to “shut up” and threatens to take the title from Bo’s waist. Bo says Neville got his previous title shot by beating a nobody and it taking him 4:45 to do so. Bo says he could easily beat Neville in under 4:45.
Triple H appears on the screen to settle the argument. He agrees Neville should get another title shot. He also thinks it’s bold that Bo thinks he can beat Neville in under 4:45. They will both get an opportunity to step up. If Neville can last 4:45 against Bo, he’ll get a title shot on February 27th on the Network Special. Don’t go anywhere, that match starts… now!
Match #5: Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville (Beat The Clock Challenge)
Ugh. Another “Beat the Clock” match. This one is weird since Bo wrestles in street clothes and the match is either Neville dodging and running from Bo or Bo going for a bunch of two counts after doing standard moves. Not much of note happens until the finish. Neville is about to hit a Red Arrow with around 30 seconds left on the clock and Bo rolls out of the ring. He stays there until about 10 seconds are left, rushes Neville in the ring, and gets dumped out on the other side of the ring. Neville beats the clock.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’m not a fan of the WWE “Beat the Clock” matches for the most part and this one wasn’t very memorable. However, I am looking forward to seeing Bo vs. Neville again on the Network Special so that is something.
Post-match, Bo tries to rush Neville in the corner, misses, and rams his shoulder on the post. Neville goes up and hits the Red Arrow.
We go off the air on Neville standing over Bo while holding up the NXT Championship.